Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mike Smith of Dave Clark 5 dies...

...after a few really rough years following an accident--and two weeks before he and the rest of the band were to be inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame.

Mike Smith of Dave Clark 5 dies at 64 (MSNBC)

Sure, the DC5's stuff sounded like just more top quality London beat from the original British Invasion (1964-1965) but Mike Smith was no ordinary quality rock vocalist.

Go ahead, find one or two of the band's classic tunes (maybe Bits & Pieces, Glad All Over or Any Way You Want It, or Do You Love Me or Can't You See That She's Mine...). Turn it up and sing over top of it, and just try to do what he did as well as he did.

A big loss.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Not that I give a shit about... or whether or not players use steroids (I'd have no problem with stock, fuel and super-modified teams and sports) but I don't know if I can find the words to adequately understand how revolted it makes me to read an article like Mike Celizik's Clemens should have just said yes (NBC Sports/MSNBC).

Celizik's point is that--guilty or not--Rogers Clemens should have just admitted to Congress he used performance enhancing drugs. MSNBC wrapped the article this way:
Roger Clemens would be a lot better off right now if he would have acknowledged use of performance-enhancing drugs — whether he used them or not — instead of being defiant, writes contributor Mike Celizic.
Whatever the truth of the matter, Celizik writes:
We’ve reached the point where everyone in baseball is presumed guilty when in actuality no more than 50 or 60 percent — OK, 70 percent tops — of the guys who played before 2004 actually dabbled in performance-enhancers.

Under such circumstances, the only thing a player accused of taking a shot or a pill or a salve is to admit it, whether he actually did it or not. It doesn’t matter if he never ingested anything stronger than distilled water and can prove it. If the accusation comes, he can save himself a world of grief — and maybe his job and future Hall of Fame chances — by just saying yes.
In other words, the victims of the Gulag, the Gestapo, the Inquisition--you know the list--just confess and move on; the lumpen will love you for it.

But please, for a moment, consider a couple of things:

1. What business is it of the freakin' guvvermint whether or not a baseball player pumped up on whateverthehell? Really. It's a proper concern only to the folks who buy and sell baseball. Everybody else gets an opinion at most and can otherwise properly just piss off.

It's. A. Game.

Nothing more and nothing else. Except, of course, it's also the government pissing away even more money on bureaucratic make-work--and "holier-than-thou" drug-war bullshit make-work at that.

2. What the hell does "defiant" have to do with anything? If Clemens is telling the truth, he ought to be defiant. Anyways, in the article, when Celizik writes:
That doesn’t wash with the public. We’ll accept many flaws in our heroes, but they can’t be washed down with truculence. Give us some remorse, give us an admission of “bad judgment,” grovel a little and we’ll forgive just about anything, including things you may not even have done. Forget what Nancy Reagan said a generation ago. In matters like these, just say yes.
he's just noting that pride, like moral certainty, is kinda outta style these days.

Concealed Carry in Utah schools..

Nick, who asked not to be fully identified so his fellow students wouldn't know he carried a gun, says he has had a concealed weapons permit for more than three years. But it was Seung-Hui Cho's murderous campus rampage that made him take a gun to class.

"Last year, after Virginia Tech, I thought 'I'm not going to be a victim,' " Nick said...

"My first thought was 'how tragic.' But then I couldn't help but think it could've been different if they'd allowed the students the right to protect themselves." Nick says his gun doesn't make him feel immune from attack. "But I feel that I will be able to protect myself, and I'm confident in my training and my ability," he said.

His confidence is not shared by fellow student Griselda Espinoza, who recently transferred to the university. Some 28,000 students attend the school, as of the latest enrollment figures.

"I feel less safe knowing that a stranger sitting beside me in class may have a gun in his or her backpack," she said.

"The only people that should carry guns are trained officials.
Y'know, Griselda...if you feel more safe when ordinary citizens are disarmed, you're a fool.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'll even grant... was almost a hokey song choice, especially to close out the evening.

But the kid plain nailed it.

David Archuleta: "Imagine" on American Idol.

Is it just me...

or do les citizens de France really have an almost unequalled penchant for trying to regulate *everything* (from language purity to, now, beer websites) through an endless supply of new legislation?


No wonder, then, the great Bastiat.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Just so we're clear... would not be safe to be this kind of policeman in any neighbourhood where I lived.
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice runs the fearsome religious police, which is charged with enforcing Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic lifestyle. Its members patrol public places to make sure women are covered and not wearing make up, the sexes don't mingle, shops close five times a day for Muslim prayers and men go to the mosque and worship.

The police, informally known as the muttawa (literally "enforcer"), don't wear uniforms, but are recognizable by their long beards and their robes, shorter than the ones normally worn by Saudi men. They also shun the black cord that sits atop the headdress worn by most Saudi men. (msnbc)
And if such policemen would be safe in your neighbourhood, you're a chickenshit, plain and simple, and you're fully deserving of any oppression you get.

Make no mistake about it; the only proper response to this type of sanctimonious, meddling bullying is to get them first.

And a good time to repeat one of my favorite quotes, from Samizdata:
"Cowardice does not make you safe. It makes you a safe target."
D. Amon

Friday, February 22, 2008

Anybody who tells you that...

...socialized medicine and the attached idea that you have a right to medical care akin to, say, your "right" to freedom of expression doesn't explicitly make slaves of the care providers is lying.

And this story is the proof.

Nurses who quit face criminal charges
Prosecutors say the nurses' resignations - without notice - on April 7, 2006, jeopardized the lives of children at Avalon Gardens in Smithtown, where some of the patients are on ventilators and required constant monitoring.

None of the patients suffered ill effects, but an indictment alleges the nurses knew their sudden resignations would make it difficult to find replacements. Their trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 28.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's Gettin' Better All The Ti-i-ime....

Back in March of 2007 I had a big laugh here on the blog, noting that Ontario energy rates were going up because Ontario energy customers had believed the government when they were told they'd save money if they used less energy. Turns out that was a crock because Ontario's energy customers (read: "suckers") used so much less energy to save money that the gummint had to (here comes the laugh....) raise rates to make up for the shortfall--so the result was that Ontario energy users were now paying more for less. Wunnerful! Hilarious!

Today, I'm treated to this: The Ontario Energy Board is allowing Enbridge, an Ontario energy utility, to
charge its Ontario customers a new fee to help pay the costs of an out-of-court settlement [because in] 2004, the Supreme Court ruled against the natural gas company -- for charging unfair fees. (emphasis mine)

Boy, those gummint guys sure do know how to make capitalism run better.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Anybody who knows me well..

...knows that I consider Daryl Hall to be one the great R&B vocalists of all time.

Well, today I get an email invite to Daryl's "Live From Daryl's House"

Go visit Daryl's House; there's a huge amount of fabulous music there. Great new and remarkably casual versions of old classics, new tunes and special guests...all done up right in front of yer face. Top notch audio and video quality.

What a treat.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I know sexism and racism when I see it...

...and this puerile screed by Frida Ghitis is full of both.
The dirty little secret of this campaign season that supposedly marks that death of prejudice is that sexism is alive and well at the voting booth. The secret is quietly revealed in the exit polls that pundits dissect after every primary and caucus, expressing awe at the brave march of white voters across racial lines.

Why are white men giving their vote to Obama over Hillary Clinton?
Were I American and a voter, I'd be thrilled to have a female candidate worth voting for--but der Rodham ain't one of those.

Anyways, I read your article, Frida--and you can fuck right off. This:
It does not take a political savant to understand why Obama, a candidate who has inspired much of America, is capturing almost all the black vote. Women, too, have dreamed of the day when one of their own would have a real chance to become president. Until now, the thought was reserved for science fiction or for ill-fated television dramas.

Women are voting for Clinton and blacks are voting for Obama because we all look for people like us, who think like we do, understand our experience and, once in office, would be more likely to make decisions with which we agree.
manages to insult white men, all blacks and all women (except Hillary supporters) in one fell swoop. What you're saying is that neither men, nor blacks nor women are able to see past basic similarities of race and gender when in the voting booth.

Like I said, I know racism and sexism when I see it. And--specifically given the comments about white men--I know anti-white misandry, too.

Addendum: But Frida can relax. She's not a white male, so there's *no* chance she's gonna lose her job over this. She won't even have to sit down with some male, black or white "leaders" for dialogue and (gag me with a spoon) healing.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Maybe "Open Season for Man-Blaming" is finally ending...

This article written by Dr. Helen Smith regarding many men's current attitudes towards women and marriage (in response to Kay Hymowitz' presumptuous but unfortunately typical male-blaming article "Child-Man in the Promised Land") and most of the comments that follow are a welcome change to the usual current popular fare.

In short, my opinion is that Dr. Smith gets it. Male reproductive rights essentially don't exist, and current child support/matrimonial laws are only the tip of an iceberg of unfortunate but still fashionable insulting, exploitation and oppression of men. Consequently, I don't think many men will be surprised by most of the comments, or by the points Dr. Smith is making. I know many men will be astonished (and very pleased), however, that these types of article are finally being written.

An aside: don't read this as a general slam of Ms. Hymowitz (who can be perceptive on a range of subjects even when I disagree) or of women in general. It's neither.

That's where you're wrong...

"I was under the impression that we have the right of free speech," said Xanne Joi of Code Pink. "To me, I thought free speech meant you get to say what you want without recrimination."
Detailed story link (NBC).

No. Actually, free speech means you get to say what you want, and everyone listening gets to think and say what they want in return. Oh, and here's the part you misunderstood: within the bounds of the law (or the libertarian "no instigation of aggression" rule) they also get to respond any way they want--including removing their support of you.

More from the article:
Ann Cooper with the Berkeley Unified School District wants both sides to play nice.

"Senators sitting 3,000 miles away are trying to take food away from the children of Berkeley," said Cooper. "Why? Because the Marines and the city aren't playing nice -- and that's just not OK."
Typical. The kind of mindless moral equivalency that comes when there's not a thought about who started it.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I laughed...

American Armoured Wankball.

Evidently started on FARK, but now a fairly widespread soccer fan description of North American Football (with the pointy "ball").